You are on page 1of 2


4 1,2, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 810261, Nigeria. 3 Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. 4 Department of Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. * Corresponding author, E-mail: The use of earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae) for vermi-assisted bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated mechanic workshop (motorcar and motorcycle) soil was investigated. After 35 days of treatment, earthworm inoculation effected a higher drop in total petroleum hydrocarbon contents compared to the samples without worms. Bioremediation rate was also found to correlate with earthworm survival: higher survival rate translated to higher rates of petroleum hydrocarbon removal. GCMS analysis indicated that the C10 – C20 fraction was the most affected by the bioremediation process. Introduction
Spent motor oil disposed off improperly can seep into the water table and contaminate ground water [1, 2, 3]. Bioremediation as a treatment option suffers mass transfer limitations as a result of the high

hydrophobicity and low solubility of the contaminants in aqueous media [5]. Generally, the activities of earthworm are considered to improve soil health and theoretically can translate to improved bioremediation. The objective of this study was to examine the ability of earthworm (Eudrilus eugeniae) to enhance the bioremediation of spent engine oil contaminated soil. Experimental Petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil from a motorcycle (MC) and motorcar mechanic (MM) workshop was procured. Initial total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contents of the soil: 92.73 and 31.61 g/kg for MM and 138.18 and 69.27 g/kg for MC). Peels of cassava tubers Manihot esculenta (Crantz)- was fermented, dried, crushed and sieved (using 5mm sieve mesh) for use as organic amendment. Earthworms were obtained from Samaru village Zaria and identified as Eudrilus eugeniae. 500g of the mechanic workshop soils was placed in a plastic container and thoroughly mixed manually with 50g of fermented cassava peels. A second sample was similarly prepared to which 10 earthworm were in addition introduced. All samples were maintained at 60% water holding capacity. The TPH of all samples was followed with time using a gravimetric method as described by [4]. The composition of the petroleum hydrocarbon contaminant was determined at the start and after 35 days of treatment using GCMS (GCMSQP2010 Plus Shimadzu, Japan). Results and discussions Table 1 presents the result of % TPH decrease and earthworm survival after 35 days of bioremediation for biostimulated and vermi-assisted systems. The table shows that all the samples treated with worms had higher drops in TPH than the corresponding control samples (without worms). Table 2 presents the result of mass spectrometry (MS) comparison of the petroleum hydrocarbon contaminant at the start and finish of the study. The MS analysis of the table indicated that the C11 – C20 fraction of the contaminating petroleum hydrocarbon was most affected by the bioremediation process, dropping from 95.47% to 92.31%.

Ameh.8435 44. g/kg 92. and R. J.A.C20 C20 . Mbagwu (2008) Biodegradation of waste lubricating petroleum oil in a tropical alfisol as mediated by animal droppings. Y.A. J.31 1. Chem. 5(5): 2103-2113. 99: 5659–5665. Bioresource Technology.C. Sci. 83-92.61 31.B. 5 (1).K. Sci. References [1] A.17804 % earthworm survival after 35 days 30 80 0 70 Undiluted MM Dilute MM Undiluted MC Dilute MC No worms With worms No worms With worms No worms With worms No worms With worms Table 2: Effect of Vermin-Assisted Bioremediation on the Composition of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Content of Motorcycle Mechanic Workshop Soil.47 0.27 69.C. Shah. A. [3] J. Adesodun and J..A Rate Model. [2] B.R.73 92.09603 24. Abia and C. Xu (1995) Bioremediation of Oil-Contaminated Soil .18 69.19 92. 6 (1).96694 36. Sci. Shah. Ibeh (2008) Adsorption kinetics and intraparticulate diffusivities of Hg. Li. Zaria) for their financial support. J.27 % TPH Decrease after 35 days 34. Waste Management.A.70 95.V.S. Tech. A. [5] K. Mohammed-Dabo. Environ. Acknowledgement Authors thank the Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEP-B) Innovators of Tomorrow (IOT) and the University Board of Research (Ahmadu Bello University. Igwe. 77-90.C30 3. As and Pb ions on unmodified and thiolated coconut fiber. Int. Ibrahim. Singh (2009) Sorption isotherms and kinetics of chromium uptake from wastewater using natural sorbent material. Environ. MC day 0 C1 . Odengle (2011) “Heavy metal contamination of soil in mechanic workshops”. . Zhang and T..83 MC day 35 % Composition 6.26461 28. [4] J. S. 15(5/6): 335-338.C10 C11 .3521 29. Int.Y.49738 39. Biol.61 138. Int. Ameh and J.O.18 138. J.56509 24.O. I.50 Conclusion The use of earthworm for the bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil from mechanic workshop offers a means of accelerating the bioremediation process. Tech.Table 1: Effect of earthworm inoculation on the bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil from mechanic workshops Initial TPH.73 31.A.